Like humans, dogs and cats can have allergies that range from mild to severe. Also like humans, our pets can have allergies from many different sources. However, pet allergy symptoms can be completely different than ours. For instance, it has been shown that the majority of canine ear infections are associated with allergies. These ear infections will continue to reoccur after treatment if the underlying allergies are not addressed.
The underlying source of allergies in pets can be food protein, fleas, or plants and pollens. Many highly allergic pets can be affected by all of the above.
Pets that have food allergies are allergies to a particular protein in the food. The allergy causing protein source may be beef, chicken, milk by-products, or any number of other proteins. Changing food brands will not help. Dogs and cats allergic to a food protein must be on a prescription diet that is manufactured in a facility devoted exclusively to hypoallergenic diets. A pet that is allergic to beef protein cannot eat food manufactured on the same equipment as other beef protein based foods. The selective quality control in the manufacturing process is critically important. Food allergies in a pet can cause ear infections, foot licking, hair loss, face rubbing, skin infections, and other symptoms.
Pets that are allergic to fleas are never just “covered” in fleas. The owner of a flea allergic pet may never see a flea. Dogs and cats with flea allergy can have a severe reaction to one single flea bite. That one flea bite feels like an insect sting to the allergic pet. The goal is to eliminate all fleas and treat the pet’s allergies. Countryside has the medication to accomplish both goals.
The veterinary medical term for hay fever type allergies in pets is called Atopy. Atopic dermatitis in pets can be extremely severe. Some causes of atopy in dogs and cats are pollen, mold, dust mites, grass resins, and surface skin infections.
Every pet is different in the allergy sources and symptoms. Pet allergy diagnosis and treatment can be a complex endeavor. Successful pet allergy management requires good communication and understanding between the veterinarian and the pet owner. Pet allergies can be frustrating for the owner and uncomfortable for the pet.
Call us to schedule an examination and consultation regarding your pet’s health, comfort, and allergy management.